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Only grocery store in St. Marks reopens, other businesses work to stay afloat

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-07 20:24:49-04

ST. MARKS, FL (WTXL) — The Bo Lynn's Grocery Store has been a staple in the St. Marks community for over 80 years.

The store took a two year hiatus when it's operator, local icon Miss Joy, passed away in 2021.

Local woman Rani Richardson has the store back up and running to serve this town that has limited grocery store options.

"it has always been here, it has always been the place people go when they need something," Richardson said. "I am committed to keeping that going as much as I can."

Richardson moved back to St. Marks when she heard about the Bo Lynn's Grocery Store closing down in 2021.

The store opened up in 1936 by a man named Bo Lynn and was run by Miss Joy from 1965 until she passed away in 2021.

"It really has long been something that people have relied on here," Richardson said.

Bo Lynn's is one of the only grocery stores in St. Marks. It's location makes it convenient for people to grab what they need when they need it.

For the two years the store was closed, people had to drive over 15 miles to Woodville to get groceries.

"We have made it a point to always have fresh produce and that has been a hit," Richardson said.

Richardson said she thinks the history of the over 80 year old store has helped keep business high.

While Bo Lynn's is back up and running, a newer local store is having to make adjustments due to inflation.

Shadrach Hines opened up Sweet Magnolia's General Store in 2021 and said the current economy has made operations difficult.

"There's two beer distributors that come down to this area, at least for our licensing needs, and one of those has upped it to a $300 order minimums to where if we don't meet that order, we will be fined," Hines said.

He wants to open back up in a few months and make the space a hang out spot for locals.

"We're gonna put the playground up outside and put some seating up, some shade up and really try to create an atmosphere where people can come in here and hang out," Hines said.

With the help of her best friend Erin, Richardson is keeping things about the same as they were when the store was run by Miss Joy from 65 to 21.

"I was committed to maintaining that and expanding it further," Richardson said.

Richardson said she is looking forward to hosting more community events to make the store a local hang out spot.